After the New Year’s celebrations are over, many Hispanic and Latin American families prepare to celebrate the last seasonal event on their calendar: Three Kings Day or the Feast of Epiphany on January 6.
The celebration takes place 12 days after Christmas, when families present gifts to children, eat meals with the traditional rosca de reyes (Kings Day bread) and dance to live music.
Based on the Gospel of the Bible of Saint Matthew, the tradition marks the visit to Bethlehem of three kings – also called Three Wise Men, or Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar – to present the infant Jesus with three gifts.
Due to the latest wave of COVID-19, some organizers have limited their abilities this year to comply with public health requirements, such as proof of vaccination and masking, as most events take place indoors.
The Taller Puertorriqueño cultural hub, which is hosting an event Thursday afternoon, closed its registration list on Monday to enforce pandemic regulations and better manage its resources.
Anjanette Velazco, vice president of the Peruvian Americans Together Here community organization, said the Three Kings Day celebration was closed to the public this year. The event, to be held Saturday at St. William’s Roman Catholic Church in Lawndale, is hosted for 85 families praying in the church.
Esperanza Arts Center has just canceled its Three Kings Day celebration due to recent circumstances created by the pandemic.
Here are some celebrations planned for the Philadelphia area this week:
January 6, 11 a.m. to noon, at Morning Glori Farmette, 131 Navy Lane, Evesham Township, NJ
Children can hear the story of the Three Kings in Spanish and English, work on arts and crafts, sing popular villancicos and family Christmas carols, and enjoy rosca de reyes. The farm will also host a photo booth, games inspired by the tradition of the Three Kings and meals from their alpacas. General admission costs $ 15 per family. For more information, call 856-335-5799.
Jan. 6, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Rental Space, 335 W. Marshall St., Norristown
For the second annual Three Kings Toy Give-Away competition, the core group Unides para Servir Norristown will host the caravana del parrandón – a 10-minute drive from Norristown with a live DJ and personifications of the Three Wise Men. Families can enjoy the food, including rosca de reyes, and children can receive a gift.
Organizers are still accepting donations of children’s toys from The Episcopal Church of the Crucifixion at 807 Bainbridge St. in Philadelphia. Social distancing and masks are mandatory. To free. For more information: 267-221-2920.
January 6, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., El Concilio, 141 E. Hunting Park Ave., Philadelphia
Children can enjoy storytelling and snacks during the Three Kings Day celebration during a limited time slot. The association will also offer gifts to all children up to the age of 18. Families should reserve a pickup time to attend by calling 215-607-3100. Masks are compulsory. To free.